Awesome Games Done Quick, one the biggest and fastest charity marathons in gaming, is about to kick off another week of speedrunning video games for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. From Jan. 5 – 11, speedrunners from Speed Demos Archive (SDA) and Speed Runs Live (SRL) will gather to play over a hundred different games as fast as possible.
For those who don’t know about speedrunning games, it’s basically what it sounds like. Using glitches, game exploits and expert memorization, a speedrunner is able to route the quickest possible way to beat a game. Though 8 and 16-bit classic games like Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country and more are often focused on, more recent games like Hotline Miami, Super Meat Boy and Portal have proved themselves to be excellent for runners to take on.
In 2011, Summer Games Done Quick was also established. The event was held for runners on the west coast who had difficulty making it over to the east for AGDQ. From Aug. 4 – 6, SGDQ 2011 raised over $20,500 for the Organization for Austism Research with about 20 participants; SGDQ 2012 raised over $45,000 for the organization.
For its 2013 events, SDA had a record-breaking year. Viewership for AGDQ 2013 averaged around 27,000 people and peaked at around 55,000 during a run of Super Mario 64. When the event ended, the over 140 attendees had helped raise over $448,000 for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. For SGDQ 2013, more than $255,000 was raised for Doctors Without Borders and with that amount, the Games Done Quick Marathons had raised over $1 million for charity.
Suffice it to say, events like Awesome Games Done Quick (and the recent Extra Life) are a great way for the gaming community to come together for an incredible cause. Anyone who has witnessed a Games Done Quick event has likely seen the amount of fun and camaraderie that a group of people sitting around playing video games can have. The speedrunning community is a tight-knit group that shares strategies and conversations constantly, especially over at Twitch.tv.
Not only are the events fun to watch because many gamers see their favorite titles completely decimated in the runs, but because the marathons also feature several donation incentives and prizes. Viewers can often donate towards special things like different modes or challenges during a particular game, or something simple like bidding for what the main characters’ names will be in games. Past marathons have featured prizes like free games, gaming memorabilia and even a Wii U or 3DS as a grand prize.
Since the marathon will be running a little under 156 hours, there’s really no excuse to miss it. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, GTA: Vice City, Portal 2, Metal Gear Rising, Mega Man X, and Bioshock are just some of the several titles to be featured.
Awesome Games Done Quick 2014 starts at 12 pm EST/9 am PST today. Be sure to check out the stream when it goes live on the GamesDoneQuick website.